Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

Product Performance in Nascent Technological Fields: The Role of Entry Status and Knowledge Search

    A large body of research on technological disruption has demonstrated that de alia entrants, i.e., firms with pre-existing technological activities in other fields, struggle in nascent technological fields. In contrast, de novo entrants, i.e., firms with no pre-existing technological activities in other fields prior to entry, are seen as the main drivers of technological change in nascent technological fields. The underlying mechanism is that the entry status of a firm, i.e., de alia or de novo, influences the product performance of the firm, due to an imprinting effect that has a long-lasting influence on product problem-solving activities. In this study, we argue that this relationship is moderated by the use of two knowledge search strategies: using mature knowledge and using external knowledge. Analyzing large-scale archival data on the technological and product activities of firms in the wind energy industry, we find that de alia entrants outperform de novo entrants when using mature knowledge. Moreover, after conducting several post-hoc analyses, we discover that de alia entrants perform considerably better when they rely more extensively on knowledge from de novo entrants. These findings have important implications for the literature on technological discontinuities and knowledge search strategies.

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